Zach Thomas was never the biggest player on the field. But you could never tell that by the way he brought down opposing players. The former Miami Dolphins linebacker was known for his thunderous hits. But they came with a price. He suffered numerous concussions throughout his 13-year NFL career. The seven-time Pro Bowler retired from the game in 2008. Where is Zach Thomas today, and what is his net worth?
Zach Thomas has stellar NFL career
After earning first-team All-American honors at Texas Tech University in 1995, the Miami Dolphins selected Zach Thomas in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft. Thomas came in and immediately made an impact his rookie season.
That year he recorded 154 tackles (120 solo), had two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and three interceptions, including one pick-six. What no one knew at the time, Thomas had established a template for what he would produce for the next decade-plus in Miami.
In his dozen seasons with the Dolphins, Thomas averaged 136 tackles per season. He led the NFL in tackles during both the 2002 and 2006 seasons, respectively. For his outstanding defense, he was named to the Pro Bowl seven times and received All-Pro honors on five occasions.
Thomas played one season for the Dallas Cowboys before retiring after 2008.
Zach Thomas and Nick Saban’s rocky relationship
Zach Thomas was a leader on defense and in the Miami Dolphins locker room. That didn’t matter when Nick Saban arrived as the new head coach in 1995. The veteran linebacker told the Miami Herald that soon after Saban was hired, he learned the coach wanted him gone.
“He gets hired here and I’m thinking I’m ready to learn this new defense, a 3-4, and I guess he didn’t think I fit the part,” Thomas said. “So he wanted to trade me. I got wind of it from a bunch of people because I knew everyone in the building, you know? So they’re telling me, ‘They’re trying to trade you right now.’
“They were trying to get Javon Walker. I’ve been doubted my whole life and I’ve used that. But that motivated me even more than usual, the Dolphins trying to get rid of me, thinking I couldn’t play in that defense. But it worked out.”
Zach Thomas and Saban had some rocky times early in their relationship but worked through their differences. He earned Pro Bowl honors the next two seasons.
Where is Zach Thomas today and what is his net worth?
Since retiring, Zach Thomas has kept a low profile. He lives in Florida with his wife and feels “like an Uber driver with three children, taking them everywhere.” While Thomas resides in Florida, he’s owned a gym in Lubbock where he went to college since 2008. All of his career earnings combined with his business dealings since he retired, Thomas has a reported net worth of $10 million.
Despite his low profile, Thomas was in the headlines back in January as he became one of 15 modern-era finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time this year. He was not one of the five selected.
Based on numbers alone, Zach Thomas will one day make it into the Hall. It’s just a matter of time. Until then, he’ll just keep being a dad, which is just fine by him.